The highlight of the three-day event was the intense bidding for an exceptional salesman’s sample barber chair manufactured by Theo A. Kochs of Chicago. This beautiful, fully detailed scale model sold for $42,000 to the top bidder.
Another standout item that attracted serious attention during “3 Days in May” was a five-cent Victor Novelty Works cast-iron tabletop gambling machine from approximately 1907. The rare coin-op – only two or three are known to exist today – commanded more than $32,000 at the auction.
Along with other gambling machines such as the 1939 five-cent O.D. Jennings escalator bell slot that sold for $4,200, vintage advertising art and displays also continued to be popular among bidders. A classic Pepsi-Cola metal floor display rack for bottle cartons – including 13 early six-pack carriers – achieved $15,000. A surprisingly intact Eveready batteries store display with moving parts sold for $5,700, and a rare Harley Davidson Motorcycles 5-gallon motor oil can brought $6,000.
Among the more than 500 lots of antique toys up for bid were some excellent specimens such as a French-made, 21-inch Alfa Romeo pressed-steel race car that hammered at $4,800 and a 22-inch German Guntherman “Silver Bullet” tin windup race car that sold for $2,400.
Proving that not even an auction is over until the fat lady sings, a buxom, life-size, animatronic talking “Laffing Sal” carnival figure closed out the weekend by singing all the way to the bank to the tune of $9,775.
VCA recently acquired the William A. Harrah Antique Gambling Machine Collection, which features one of the largest concentrations of upright single- and double-wheel slot machines in the world. This unique assemblage of vintage trade stimulators, floor consoles and assorted memorabilia from Harrah’s world-famous casinos – totaling more than 75 pieces – will be up for bid at VCA’s next multi-day auction event, taking place at the Las Vegas showroom Oct. 10-12.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE